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Death of a Salesman

Open Space Theatre Company

at Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft

Review published in Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times,

15 November 2010

Death of a Salesman

As the years advance, appreciation of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece deepens. That a man at 63 is too old and tired to be effective in business is at odds with today’s 60 being the new 40, but an older person losing his grip resonates still.

Paul Baker presents Willie Lomax, a once highly successful travelling salesman, staunch believer in the American Dream and hard work, liked and respected, with a well judged mix of anger, frustration, confusion, with sparks of the younger worker, husband and father.

The ever-impressive Yves Green is his wife, handling memories with joy and his decline, their quarrelsome sons and the fractured father/son relationship with stoic resignation (Mark Burridge and Peter Long, both good). The supporting cast, especially Patrick Quorn and Dawn Symonds, are spot on.

But for what is a painful, poignant and funny, bitter and distressing journey, full credit goes to director David Green for exploring the marriage, the brotherly relationship, the father/son issues in a well-paced, sympathetic yet forensic way.

The tragic conclusion, that a man who is broke and no longer able to earn a living, decides his life assurance policy will give his son a fresh start in life, is heartbreaking. That it arrives without sentimentality is the mark of a fine ensemble, which Open Space are.

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